UC Observer logo
UCObserver on SoundCloud UCObserver on YouTube UCObserver on Facebook UCObserver on Twitter UCObserver's RSS Feeds

Environment

Feature

February 2017

The secret lives of cows, chickens and pigs

By Larry Krotz

What really happens on farms today? Many urbanites believe the worst. The writer heads into the countryside to see if the stereotypes are true.

Feature

January 2017

The new agrarians

By Lois Ross

In the next 15 years, almost half of Canadian farms will change hands. Meet seven millennials who view agriculture as a career — and moral calling.

Feature

September 2016

Waste not

By Elena Gritzan

This jar contains one year of the Johnson family’s garbage. A growing movement of ‘zero-wasters’ is urging the rest of us to start talking trash.

Special Feature

June 2016

Spirit bear

By Pieta Woolley

Feature

May 2016

Are vegans right?

By David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.

Special Feature

April 2016

Hell and high water

By Josiah Neufeld

The writer visits the shifting shorelines of Bangladesh and discovers tens of millions of people on the brink of climate disaster

Feature

April 2015

Why kicking carbon makes dollars and sense

By Alanna Mitchell

Giving up fossil fuels will not only save life on Earth — it will also save us money

Feature

March 2015

Extreme downsizing

By Anne Bokma

For tiny house enthusiasts, sometimes less is more

Feature

February 2015

Faux trade?

By Pieta Woolley

Buying fair trade coffee doesn’t hurt. But it doesn’t help as much as we might imagine.

Feature

June 2014

The communitarians

By Anne Bokma

What happens when 100 people move out of the mainstream and attempt to create their own private utopia?

Feature

May 2014

Divestment strategy

By Christine Boyle

A healthy profit shouldn't come at the expense of a sick planet, say activists. They're encouraging schools, churches and other institutions to freeze out fossil fuels.

Feature

March 2014

Communes for grown-ups

By Anne Bokma

A 1960s ideal gets a modern makeover in cohousing projects designed for living in close quarters

Feature

January 2014

The epoch we have wrought

By Alanna Mitchell

Welcome to the Anthropocene — a new geological era triggered by human industry

Feature

September 2013

Did Canadian oil poison this town?

By May Warren

Last spring, a pipeline carrying diluted bitumen from Alberta’s oil sands ruptured in a small Arkansas town. People began to get sick. And now they want answers.

Feature

July 2013

Saved by a salamander

By Lisa Van de Ven

How an endangered amphibian became the unlikely hero in a community’s fight to stop a quarry expansion in Ontario’s Niagara Escarpment

Feature

June 2013

Losing the hooded grebe: Part 2

By Alanna Mitchell

A team of scientists races against time to prevent a small Argentine water bird from vanishing forever

Feature

June 2013

Standing up to big gold

By Roxana Olivera

A fight pitting Indigenous Peruvians against a multinational mining company highlights the real cost of the global boom in precious metals

Feature

May 2013

Buy. Wear. Toss.

By Susan Peters

In the developed world, clothing has never been cheaper. But do overstuffed wardrobes make fashion victims of us all?

Feature

February 2013

An ill wind

By Lisa Van de Ven

The Dutch were among the first to embrace the green promise of turbines. Now they’re having second thoughts. Has wind energy lost its momentum?

Feature

November 2012

Gateway ground zero

By Will Braun

Kitimat, B.C., is the proposed terminus of a controversial oil pipeline. But what does it mean for the local community?

Feature

September 2012

Loving our lakes to death

By Therese DesCamp

I fell hard for B.C.’s Slocan Lake — and so have thousands of others. I’ve learned to love it not as a playground but as a living thing.

Feature

July 2012

Global crisis, urban answers

By Kevin Spurgaitis

Progress on climate change is pitifully slow. Can cities succeed where national governments have failed?

Feature

June 2012

How green is thy faith?

By Pieta Woolley

Since taking root half a century ago, ecotheology has cultivated a fresh understanding of scripture. For a new generation of Christians, it’s now second nature.

Feature

May 2012

Miracle of the monarchs

By Anne Bokma

The annual migration of butterflies to remote Mexican mountaintops is one of Creation's most awe-inspiring mysteries

Feature

April 2012

The plight of the honeybee

By Pieta Woolley

The bee population is plummeting, putting our food supply at risk

Feature

April 2012

An ominous tide

By Raquel Fletcher

How a small coastal village in Ghana has become ground zero for global warming

Feature

March 2012

The locavore conundrum

By Larry Krotz

Buying locally sourced food seems like the right thing to do. But is it an ethical luxury that excludes the less fortunate?

Feature

January 2012

A planet’s progress

By Alanna Mitchell

Whether we recycle, use less gasoline or lobby politicians, most of us are taking action for the environment. Is it enough? Not yet. But the evidence shows we are making a difference.

Feature

January 2012

Back to the garden

By Margaret Atwood

Theology and ecology were once interconnected, but two millennia of Christianity have steered us away from nature. Can religion recover its roots?

Feature

September 2011

Planting a better future

By Lisa Van de Ven

Detroit residents are reclaiming derelict urban spaces one garden at a time

Promotional Image

Editorials

David Wilson%

Observations

by David Wilson

Paralyzed by helplessness

Promotional Image

Video

ObserverDocs: A shoulder to lean on

by Observer Staff

Sheima Benembarek was born in Saudi Arabia, grew up in Morocco and moved to Canada in 2005. In 2015, she relocated to Toronto. At first, the city seemed so much bigger, impersonal — and even threatening — until a fateful encounter in the subway one day.

Promotional Image

Faith

January 2017

Presbytery turns down bid to halt Vosper hearing

by Mike Milne

Society

June 2016

All the lonely people

by André Picard

An estimated six million Canadians live in isolation. Social researchers are now calling it a hidden epidemic.

Society

May 2016

Are vegans right?

by David Macfarlane

The writer is in the midst of a radical six-month change of diet. He’s discovering that no cheeseburger tastes as good as being ethical feels.

Society

January 2017

The new agrarians

by Lois Ross

In the next 15 years, almost half of Canadian farms will change hands. Meet seven millennials who view agriculture as a career — and moral calling.

Society

January 2017

From kennel to courtroom

by Kat Eschner

A legal bid to save 21 former fighting dogs from being euthanized is part of a growing movement to grant animals some of the same rights as humans

Faith

March 2016

The Walrus Talks Spirituality

by Observer Staff

Promotional Image